Have you noticed that a lot of Pilates instructors refer to their classes as practice? The reason for this is that, like any other sport or skill, we see improvement with repetition. You may not realise it, but when you show up to your Pilates class, you are practising your movement patterns and refining your skill. There is a lot more to Pilates than physical exercise, which is why it is so beneficial for so many people.
Here are my top tips to get the MOST out of your Pilates classes, to really see and feel a difference.
Follow my cues
Pilates is all about movement patterns, so to really see some change, you need to follow my cues to challenge the way you move. Our bodies like to find the path of least resistance and will generally follow a pattern out of habit. These movement habits can become quite engrained, even if they are less than ideal. The slightest tweak of position or focus can unlock a whole new sensation and pattern. Some of my cues will sound bizarre, but there will be one that clicks for you, so give them all a go and find the one that gives you a new feeling or pattern to work with.
Take your time
Slow and steady wins the race! Although I like to offer a sequence here and there that works at pace to really challenge you, most of the time in Pilates we are working on control and precision. You need to take your time to get the movement right, even after years and years of practice. Try not to rush through the repertoire if you want to get the most out of your classes, I promise you will feel even more burn if you take it slow.
Focus on your breath
Use your breathing to help with your timing and control. If you are holding your breath, you are most likely bracing and not truly in control of the exercise. Try to breathe out on the effort and use a pattern of one breath per movement, this will really help you to get even more out of each exercise. By breathing through each movement you will allow more oxygen to get to your muscles and feel them engage more effectively.
Repeat the same classes again
I know people love variety, but I have to say, repetition is the key to progress in Pilates. The first time you do a class, you are using some of your focus to keep up and follow the repertoire. The second time, you will be able to listen out for more of my cues and by the third time you will really start to perfect your movements. The more attention you can give to the specifics of each exercise, the more you will feel in control of your body and breath. This is why I love to revisit the basics, even a simple table top or bridge is challenging when you focus on your technique, breathing and control.
Keep it regular
The more frequently you can practise Pilates, the more rapidly and convincingly you will see change. This doesn’t mean that you need to do a full 30 minute, high intensity class every day. It can be as simple as a 5 minute sequence, but it does need to be regular. In an ideal world, I would do some Pilates everyday, but if I’m being realistic, aiming for 3-4 sessions per week is enough to make a difference.
If you have any questions or need any guidance around the platform, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can DM me @ourpilates or email email@example.com, I am always happy to help.